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  • Feel the fear and do it anyway

    Feel the fear and do it anyway

    This is my new mantra.

    In the last few months I have been pushing myself most firmly out of my comfort zone! (writing this as i stand in House of Fraser in Edinburgh, hosting my own little pop-up shop for Birch & Bloom-MAD I KNOW!)

    Those who know me will tell you I’m a big scaredy cat when it comes to anything that makes me the centre of attention. Earlier this year the lovely girls from Nordic Edit approached me about doing a summer wreath making workshop in their showroom. My first thoughts were “me??, why?” and “NO WAY!”

    However, the more I thought about it, the more I realised that this was an awesome idea and a great opportunity to add another string to my bow, after all wreath making is so totally my THING and where Birch & Bloom began.

     

    So I put on my big girl pants (again) and started planning and plotting...

    **Florist for a day**

    This is me spending a lovely morning conditioning all the flowers I bought from the flower market. It was like being a child in a sweetie shop choosing the flowers- I kid you not- HEAVEN!

     

    The Nordic Edit showroom is in a beautiful little spot in Dunbar in East Lothian. On the morning of the workshop the sun was shining, such a lovely day to spend playing with flowers.

     

    Setting up was fun, I love faffing with the details..

     

    I had a group of 6 lovely women to demonstrate to. We discovered we had something in common- a desire to move away from our careers in the NHS! (nothing like a little moaning session to break the ice!)

     

    The finished collection of wreaths...

     

    It was very satisfying seeing how utterly delighted everyone was with their finished wreaths. This is a feeling I remember very well, an 'I made this'- proud moment.

    What was even more satisfying was the realisation that I hadn't felt nervous in the slightest! A miracle!

    I have just finished organising a further 5 workshops for this year and am plotting an Autumn one too as it's my favourite season of all.

    If you'd like to join us for any of these workshops please add your name to our mailing list to keep up to date with events, new designs and promotions or send me a wee message! I love hearing from you!

    As always, thanks for reading!

    Louise x

     

     

     

  • So You're Getting Married?

    So You're Getting Married?

    We’re now firmly in Wedding Season 2018.

    I seem to spend an awful lot of time browsing, researching and daydreaming all things wedding these days, so I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite wedding bloggers to inspire you for your own big day.

    They are the gurus of wedding style. Their pages cover every aspect of your wedding and are overflowing with fantastically stunning and original ideas. There are hundreds of wedding blogs out there- some great, some not so great and some ‘Oh my GOODNESS, I need that in my wedding!’

    Here are my favourite four....

     

    Louise Baltruschat – Whimsical Wonderland Weddings

     

    Image- Alexa Loy Photography

    Louise is the self-confessed eclectic, eccentric writer behind the award-winning blog https://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com

    She founded the blog whilst planning her own wedding day and it has grown into a beautiful platform with a ‘little bit of everything’ that you could need to inspire your own wedding.

    Discover stunning photography and content and also make time to read ‘The Bride Diaries’ where couples share their own ideas- Fab!

     

    Heather- Braw Brides

    Heather loves to rave about Scotland’s best weddings and the inspiration behind them. She loves all things stylish, quirky and romantic- if you’re keen to do something a bit different then look no further.

    http://www.brawbrides.com

    Look out for the wedding workshops that the BB team run- they are a much more chilled version of the more traditional wedding fair. The team are also busy compiling a list of great Scottish suppliers showcasing at these workshops and they are also championing some fantastic, lesser known people too, which is great news for small businesses like yours truly!

    Don’t leave without having a good look at the weddings that couples have submitted- there are some beautiful romantic settings to be inspired by and the photography is stunning!

     

    Emily Pettiford & Jessica Turley- Bespoke Brides

    Image- Through the woods we ran

    Described as the ‘Best DIY wedding blog’, Bespoke Brides is a super quirky website where the emphasis is on colour and creativity.

    https://www.bespoke-bride.com

    Discover loads of fun tutorials that help you to personalise your own wedding such as this gorgeous DIY flower chandelier

    https://www.bespoke-bride.com/2017/09/19/diy-this-statement-flower-chandelier/

     

    So many fantastic ideas- I am like a child in a sweet shop with this blog- LOVE IT!

     

     Phoebe, Rebecca and Emily- So You’re Getting Married

    These are the girls behind the very popular blog- So You’re Getting Married.

    http://www.soyouregettingmarried.com

    Phoebe (pictured) is obsessed with all things wedding, Rebecca loves flowers and vintage finds and Emily is an expert on getting brides wedding ready.

    They bring bucket loads of inspiration for your wedding including beauty tips, fashion and honeymoon ideas to die for. You could literally lose yourself in this website but if you need a break from wedding planning and plotting there is also plenty lovely non-wedding content too.

     

    So there you go, just a little snapshot of what I think are some of the best UK wedding bloggers out there today.

    Now I’m off to plan my own wedding!!

     As always, thanks for reading!

     

    Louise x

  • "Behind the Squares" with Muscari Blue

    "Behind the Squares"  with Muscari Blue

     

    This is the first in my series of interviews called “Behind the Squares”. Inspired by the recent instagram challenge ‘Meet the Maker’ I thought it would be nice to take a peek behind the beautiful styled shots we see, and get to learn a bit about who is behind them.

    To begin the series I have been chatting to Katie Russell, a super talented and experienced florist with her own business - Muscari Blue. She lives right here in the same village as me, just outside Edinburgh and has very kindly let me share a little of her story with you.

     

     

    Where did your creative journey with Muscari Blue begin?

    After having a few office jobs (which I found incredibly boring!) I began to think that I should find a career. I found myself on Telford college’s website looking in the arts and creativity section and decided I would give floristry a go! I enrolled in a full time course in city and guilds floristry - loved it! -  and passed with distinction.

    While I was doing the course I was also working in a florist in Edinburgh. Once I finished the course they asked me to stay on full time as their wedding and events florist which is when I thought, why not give it a go myself? Then Muscari blue flower studio was born!

     

    You have been a successful florist for long time, how has your style developed?

    I found that being employed as a florist made me adopt a very specific, modern style but once I left to start my own business and started meeting all of my engaged couples it gave me the freedom to try out lots of different styles.

     

    Image- Julie Tinton Photography 

     

    Which has been your all-time favourite wedding so far?

    My favourite wedding so far has to be my own! Although it was very tiring and slightly stressful to do my own flowers (up until 12pm on the day!!!) it was so much fun to be able to do whatever I wanted! I did find it very difficult to decide what flowers to use but I had lots of ideas that were great to be able to actually put into place.

    For example, I had Cymbidium Orchids on all of the champagne flutes and I even had an additional train made for my dress which I covered with over 250 Phalaenipsos Orchid flower heads!

     

    Images- Julie Tinton Photography 

     

    Do you have a favourite floral arrangement to design and create?

    There is no specific arrangement that I like to do more than others but I do love to do things that are a little bit different! All bridal bouquets are beautiful but I love the ones that add in a bit of something different to make it more interesting! I remember doing a bridal bouquet that had a gorgeous big artichoke right in the centre and it stole the show!

     

     

    What is your favourite flower?

    This is a very tough question! I love tropical flowers for their colours and I love Lilies for their scent but I think Orchids are my all-time favourite!

    I love that something so beautiful grows almost like a weed in the branches and roots of trees.

     

    What are your essential pieces of kit?

    Essentials would have to be my super strong carbon scissors ( these will cut through almost anything, including the tips of my fingers!! Ouch!), florist wire, oasis fix and stem tape. It’s also a very good idea to always carry some extra pearl pins on the day of a wedding for anyone who needs extra help attaching a corsage/buttonhole.

     

    Where do you begin when you get a new wedding brief?

    When a new wedding party get in touch the first thing we need to do is meet face to face - preferably - to have a wedding consultation. This where they can tell me all of their ideas and show me any photos they have seen that reflect the colours or styles they like. It helps to meet your brides/grooms to get more of an idea of the style of person they are. Sometimes when they show you an A4 sheet of photos they have collated that may not look similar there is always something that is a trend that I can see that they can’t.

    It’s also useful to hear about the other suppliers they have organised as this also gives you an idea of the style of wedding you will be working on.  

     

    Image- Julie Tinton Photography

    Thanks so much for talking to me Katie! I’ve found it fascinating learning about your floral journey so far.

    I absolutely adore working with fresh flowers so if you ever need a wee helper for the day then look no further!

    Pop over to Katie’s website and have a look at some of the beautiful weddings she has done http://www.muscariblue.com

     

     

    I’ve got a few other fabulously talented creatives lined up for my “Behind the Squares’ series so keep a lookout. They are all involved in weddings in some way so may even provide you with some inspiration for your own big day!

     

    Thanks for reading

    Love Louise x

  • Imposter Syndrome strikes again...

    Imposter Syndrome strikes again...

     

    Here I am at 6 in the morning, typing away like I’m in an episode of sex and the city while my children sleep. How oh how do you quiet such a busy mind?

     I’m not going to lie- I’ve had a creative wobble this week.

    I think there are a few elements to said wobble..

     

    Firstly, I’ve had 5 looooong years of sleep deprivation (I have 2 beautiful, non-sleeping children)

    Secondly, lately I always seem to be feeling guilty (trying to stretch myself too thinly and getting nowhere very far at all-see previous re children)

    Thirdly, FEAR! Of the unknown, of the future of new things and...

    Lastly, the dreaded comparing of self with others... Oh dear.

     

    *I think the mammoth (unfairly allocated I might say) hangover at the weekend will not have helped much either*

     

    All of these factors bring about a familiar feeling in me. I used to feel like this a lot when I started my own business making floral hoops and wreaths. It was brought to my attention by a creative friend and fellow sufferer, that I was suffering from IMPOSTER SYDROME. Yes, it is a real thing!

     

    Countless pieces of research show that women (and men) undervalue themselves. Interestingly it has been found that women suffer it much more intensely.  It manifests as feelings of self doubt and feeling like a fraud.

     

    Apparently, the way to beat it is by sharing your fears. Hopefully writing this will banish my gremlins away for a while and maybe inspire others to feel more confidence in themselves.  I can bet that some of this is resonating with you?

    How do you create a balance between home and business, stay healthy and be confident and happy? If you have any tips, I’d love to hear them!

     

    Next blog to be less self indulgent I promise. I’ll be starting my wee series of interviews “Behind the Squares” learning about some talented Scottish people involved in all things wedding, so look out for that.

    Hoop-Flower Girl/ ELLA- birchandbloomdesigns.co.uk

    Velvet Hair bows- lovebysusie.co.uk 

     

     I think I just need another sunny day to shake off this mood and I’ll be back to my positive self…

     

    COME ON SPRING!